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Science 318 (5847): 109-112

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Widespread Role for the Flowering-Time Regulators FCA and FPA in RNA-Mediated Chromatin Silencing

Isabel Bäurle,1* Lisa Smith,2{dagger} David C. Baulcombe,2{ddagger} Caroline Dean1*

Abstract: The RRM-domain proteins FCA and FPA have previously been characterized as flowering-time regulators in Arabidopsis. We show that they are required for RNA-mediated chromatin silencing of a range of loci in the genome. At some target loci, FCA and FPA promote asymmetric DNA methylation, whereas at others they function in parallel to DNA methylation. Female gametophytic development and early embryonic development are particularly susceptible to malfunctions in FCA and FPA. We propose that FCA and FPA regulate chromatin silencing of single and low-copy genes and interact in a locus-dependent manner with the canonical small interfering RNA–directed DNA methylation pathway to regulate common targets.

1 Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.
2 Sainsbury Laboratory, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.

{dagger} Present address: Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstrasse 37-39, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

{ddagger} Present address: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: isabel.baurle{at}; caroline.dean{at}

Message ends: RNA 3' processing and flowering time control.
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